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can't perform defregmentation

Posted on 2002-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Every time I try to defregment or scandisk, it keeps on geting re-started. Why is this happening?
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Question by:aussie_guy_nik
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18 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:aussie_guy_nik
ID: 7151152
by the way, there are no other programs while scandisk or defrag is running, unless there is some background process which I am unaware of.
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Accepted Solution

by:
hewittg earned 100 total points
ID: 7151179
aussie,
Have you tried running this in safe mode?  If it completes, it is a process that is running in the backround.  Hit ctrl alt del and close everything but explorer and systray to run it

Glenn
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Expert Comment

by:hewittg
ID: 7151250
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Expert Comment

by:harrlow
ID: 7151252
sometiems, it's the screensaver. (in case you forget that it's running) or power management facilities
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:EricWestbo
ID: 7151361
Aussie...
  This can occur if another app is writing to your drive while your are running your system tool (scandisk or defratg).  Can be an antivirus app or even an app in your Quick Launch toolbar.
  For more info on this & directions to work around the issue, check out http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q222469 from TechNet.

Hope this helps

/ew
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:pleasenospam
ID: 7151399
The advice above is on target, but here are a few extra comments...

If you have lots of trash on your system, the defrag operation will be forced to
deal with that.  That can slow things down.  Here is what I use daily to get rid of trash:

http://home.ntelos.net/~write/purgeall.txt

It works from real DOS, not DOS prompt.  Before leaving the batch program with EXIT,
it is a good idea to run SCANDISK or NDD from the command line.  NDD will be the DOS
version of Norton Disk Doctor.

Back in Windows, I have found that Norton Disk Doctor will run fine in normal mode, but
if it finds a problem it may not be able to correct it in normal mode.  So, if it is
needed, run it from Safe mode.  However, I have yet to have a problem running Norton
Speed Disk from normal mode.  Apparently Norton is aware of any potential file conflicts
and either allows for them or does not defrag those files.

Note that Norton Disk Doctor is equivalent to SCANDISK and Norton Speed Disk is like DEFRAG.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:StormMajik
ID: 7152192
The most common cause for this is anti-virus software, but any program that is in regular contact with the hard disk ( and causing minor alterations ) can cause this.

Do not forget to look to DOS ( your AUTOEXEC.BAT ) as this is where some anti-virus etc will run from, causing the scandisk problem.

click Start->Run and type MSCONFIG and press enter, goto the last tab 'Startup' and clear any tick boxes that you may think will cause the problem ( you can always go back and turn them back on later ) as a rule stay away from anything that runs from C:\WINDOWS... These items maybe needed to run Windows. Doing this may improve system performance in any case. A very useful tool.

You can also run scandisk in safemode, its as if you have loaded nothing at Windows startup, but it is really slow as only basic harddisk drivers are loaded.

Storm :-)
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:tituba2
ID: 7152357
Yes, and don't forget to disable the screensaver when running scandisk/defrag
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Expert Comment

by:lagruga
ID: 7155143
I have the same issue on my PC and the only way to Defrag is to:
- hit ctrl+alt+del
- close everything but explorer and systray to run it  - as mentioned before on hewittg's first comment. If you have done all that then it is definetly something on the background.

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Expert Comment

by:kandresen
ID: 7157651
The reason this is happening is in most cases that the system is writing to the swap-file.
For Windows 95/98 I normally suggest setting up two partitions and put the swap partition on a the partition mostly holding permanently stored information.
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Expert Comment

by:Computer101
ID: 7158627
For reasons staed below, proposed answer rejected

Computer101
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Author Comment

by:aussie_guy_nik
ID: 7159387
i guess it must have been some process then. good comment.
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Expert Comment

by:kandresen
ID: 7159627
Ok, I guess I posted it wrong as an Answer, but in my experience this is the reason that account for more than  90% of the restarts of the defragmenter in Windows 9x, when no other applications are visibly running.

The question was aimed toward knowing what is the cause of the problem, so I am positive it is the actual answer.
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Expert Comment

by:pleasenospam
ID: 7159785
But, you didn't answer the question "WHY is it writing so much to the Swap File that
it interferes with defragmentation?"  I submit to you that MY comment is correct in that
I suggested that BEFORE you try to defrag the hard drive you FIRST get rid of all the
garbage.  The garbage on a computer hard drive comes from temporary files that come from
Internet download activity and from various editing processes by the user.  These
temporary files are BADLY fragmented.  So why does anyone want to defrag trash?
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Expert Comment

by:kandresen
ID: 7159997
It is good to get rid of the garbage before defragmenting, however, the garbage you are talking about is not running in memory and should be fragmented with no more problems than the ordinary files. Garbage should therefore be irrelevant for the question.
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Expert Comment

by:pleasenospam
ID: 7160221
Downloads go to temporary files on the hard drive.  Residuals from edits you do
go to temporary files on the hard drive.  Lots of other stuff from Windows activity
goes to temporary files on the hard drive.  All of this STUFF is badly fragmented
and is defragmented like everything else on the hard drive if you allow it to stay.

Surely, you are not saying that you can read a 10,000 page book in no more time than
a short personal letter?
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Expert Comment

by:kandresen
ID: 7160294
Pleasenospam: I do agree with you quite a bit.
The temporary files have a tentency to get very fragmented, and deletion of these files would speed up the defragmentation process a lot.
However, it does not explain why the process restarts.

hewittg was correct because it is a process running in background that screw up.

When Windows show no running applications, the lions share of all system writes is due to the swap file.

You have a lot of ways to prevent this problem, you can run in safe mode, get enough RAM to disable the SWAP file all together, another option is to move the SWAP file away from the partition being defragmented (something I repetively have done with very good results). It is also clearly possible to use more efficient programs than the one coming with Win 9x, Norton is several times faster than the default fragmenter.

However, all these are just simply solutions to the problem, not answers for why it happens.

So lets respect hewittg for giving the correct answer which is processes running in background (that writes to disc).
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Expert Comment

by:kandresen
ID: 7160297
Pleasenospam: I do agree with you quite a bit.
The temporary files have a tentency to get very fragmented, and deletion of these files would speed up the defragmentation process a lot.
However, it does not explain why the process restarts.

hewittg was correct because it is a process running in background that screw up.

When Windows show no running applications, the lions share of all system writes is due to the swap file.

You have a lot of ways to prevent this problem, you can run in safe mode, get enough RAM to disable the SWAP file all together, another option is to move the SWAP file away from the partition being defragmented (something I repetively have done with very good results). It is also clearly possible to use more efficient programs than the one coming with Win 9x, Norton is several times faster than the default fragmenter.

However, all these are just simply solutions to the problem, not answers for why it happens.

So lets respect hewittg for giving the correct answer which is processes running in background (that writes to disc).
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